Providing For Those Who Can't Care For Themselves

When you are trying to care for a loved one who is disabled, you may feel overwhelmed and uncertain how to begin. It's important to know about how the law, and a good lawyer, can help you take care of your loved ones and make sure they are cared for long into the future.

Making Important Decisions On Behalf Of Someone Else

There are many people who, due to illness, disability or some other condition, cannot take care of their own basic needs. California law provides for two key types of legal relationships that can help these individuals: guardianship and conservatorship.

Guardianship and conservatorship allow other people to make important decisions on behalf of others. This can be very important when a guardian or conservator is caring for an elderly parent with Alzheimer's disease, a profoundly disabled adult child or another person who is not able to competently make decisions about housing, health care and other matters.

However, these powers can easily be exploited in a way that harms the people the law was meant to help. The law must strike a delicate balance, giving care providers the power they need while at the same time protecting the rights of the disabled.

What Are Guardianship And Conservatorship?

In general, guardianship is a legal relationship that allows an adult to make decisions on behalf of a child; conservatorship is a legal relationship that allows an adult to make decisions on behalf of another adult. However, the specific powers and responsibilities of guardians and conservators depend upon the specific needs of the person being cared for.

For example, an elderly person with severe dementia may need a conservator with very broad powers, while an elderly person whose dementia is in its early stages may need a conservator whose powers will grow only as they become necessary. Likewise, a healthy teenager may need a guardian to make financial decisions on her behalf only until she turns 18, while a disabled teenager may need more help. An attorney can help you to understand how the law may apply to your unique circumstances.

Learn How We Help People Like You

At the Law Offices of Roshni T. Desai, we assist people with a wide range of issues related to guardianship and conservatorship, including asset protection, special needs trusts, and contested guardianships and conservatorships. We represent clients and their families in Santa Ana and throughout Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. Call us at 714-955-4137 or contact us by email.